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The core elements of Design Technology at KS3 are creativity, imagination and innovation. As student’s progress through KS3, they will be given the opportunity to solve genuine, relevant problems within different contexts while considering their own and other’s needs, wants and values.  Pupils taking Design Technology at KS3 will acquire a broad range of subject knowledge

key stage 3

Pupils in KS3 are introduced to the world of innovation within design technology through various processes, projects and practical’s in a variety of different materials including paper, boards, woods, metals, plastics and electronics.   The curriculum at KS3 includes safe working practical workshop skills, design communication, problem solving and independent creative thinking as well as gaining theoretical knowledge in materials and their working properties.

All KS3 work is project based, where pupils in the first form manufacture electronic steady hand games and various bag tags. In second form, pupils will respond to two design briefs relating to architecture and lighting. Finally, in third form pupils complete three major projects - sterling silver rings, plywood laminated candle holders and some thermoformed music speakers.

At various points in KS3, pupils will develop skills in CAD/CAM applications. The pupils use two CAD software packages: Techsoft 2D Design and Google SketchUp. Additionally, they are trained in the use of a laser cutter.  The emphasis for pupils is to develop skills which will enable them to access the interactive design cycle in KS4 Design Technology, including prototype development and production.

key stage 4

Outline of Syllabus

The new Design & Technology GCSE is a demanding course which will prepare pupils to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world, as well as laying the foundations for a future in a wide range of design based courses such as Engineering, Architecture & Industrial Design.

The vast majority of lesson time will be spent developing practical skills in the workshop where pupils will use a wide range of materials and manufacturing processes. They will combine core scientific & mathmatic skills to realise their own design ideas, and will have the opportunity to respond creatively to set design briefs.

The theory component of the course will provide the opportunity for pupils to examine economic, social & environmental factors in design and manufacture, and to engage with contemporary & historical influences on the man-made world. It allows pupils to study core technical, designing & making principles, as well as having to opportunity to choose their own specialist technical principles in greater depth.

Scheme of Assessment

Unit 1: Written Paper

The two hour written paper contributes 50% of the GCSE grade.

Unit 2: Design and Making Practice

The controlled assessment contributes 50% of the overall grade.

Controlled assessment is a single design-and-make activity from a set task, consisting of the design & development of a made product and a design portfolio of approximately 20 A3 sheets. Pupils are given 30-35 hours of lesson time to complete this activity which is marked and moderated externally.

Awarding Body: AQA

Specification: GCSE Design & Technology 8552